Welcome to the Aushorse Investors’ Guide. We hope the information provided here gives you a strong insight into the thoroughbred industry in Australia.
As you’ll know, the last year has been challenging for everyone, and the thoroughbred industry has been impacted in many ways by COVID-19.
In Australia we have been more fortunate than most. With the strong support of the public and politicians, racing has continued throughout the pandemic; our prizemoney still leads the world and our sales continue to offer buyers unparalleled opportunity.
Put simply, no country gets behind racing and breeding like Australia.
Our strong foundations have allowed prizemoney to actually increase in 2020, while we offered 52 races worth A$1 million or more, compared to 29 in America and just seven across all of Europe this year.
We believe Australia remains the most vibrant and rewarding place to breed, trade or race a horse in the world.
Whether it’s the number of million dollar races; the rewards for Group One winners; or the returns for victory in an average race, the strength of Australian prizemoney shows there is no more rewarding place to race than Australia.
And while many racing nations have slashed purses due to COVID-19, we have actually seen returns to owners increase in 2020.
This means there has been an 80% prizemoney growth over the past decade. The rewards are greatest for those horses born and sold locally, with some A$62 million available in lucrative breeders’ schemes and sales races.
These riches would not exist without Australia’s passionate embrace of racing. Our prizemoney is possible because of our fondness for a flutter: the typical Australian bets some US$820 a year on the sport. With all bookmakers paying a percentage of turnover back to racing, it ensures strong rewards for the owners and participants putting on the show.
In Australia it's not just about the value of winning a major race, but the opportunity to buy a horse capable of doing so. Unlike other countries, our best breeders are sellers and year after year top horses pass their way through the sales ring before making their way to the winners enclosure.
In Australia our richest and most prestigious races - those that matter the most to the industry - are dominated by locally bred and raised horses.
In the last 10 years every running of the Blue Diamond, Golden Slipper, Sires’ Produce Stakes, Caulfield Guineas, Golden Rose and Coolmore Stud Stakes were all won by Australian-bred horses.
Of all Australian-bred Group 1 winners in 2020,
78% of them were offered at auction as yearlings.
For those searching for colts with a long-term eye to the breeding barn, look no further for encouragement than the top 10 sires list in Australia.
All were locally bred and all had been offered at a local yearling sale.
But even if you don’t have a farm to retire a champion colt to, the market for potential stallions is ferociously competitive with a number of studs willing to bid on colts with valuations of tens of millions of dollars.
Incredibly, despite the enormous returns in prizemoney, the stallion market and the breeding barn, when it comes to buying an elite colt at the sales, Australia is far more affordable than the rest of the world.
And when these stallions go to stud, they can command a higher service fee than anywhere else in the world.
Securing a significant return on outlay isn’t restricted to leading colts. With the second largest breeding industry in the world, top Australian fillies and mares are in high demand when they reach the end of their racing career.
In the past five years, some 50 fillies and mares have been sold for A$1 million or more at auction after a career on the track. The average price of those horses was A$195,258 as yearlings. Many mares are also traded privately with the likes of Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign and Vinery Stud Stakes winner Single Gaze heading to Japan in recent years.
RACE FILLIES/MARES SOLD FOR A$1M+
39 OFFERED AT AUCTION AS A YEARLING
AVERAGE YEARLING PRICE
The global influence of our bloodlines has been marked recently with the 2019 Epsom Derby winner being out of Australian mare Believe’N’Succeed, while 2020 Royal Ascot winner Russian Emperor was the result of Galileo being crossed with another to carry the Aus suffix, champion Atlantic Jewel. In America, the top colt at Keeneland September in 2019 was the first foal from Australian mare Bounding.
Despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 in the bloodstock market, eight Group One-winning mares sold off the track in 2020 for an auction average of A$1.8 million.
Australia has been trading horses to race in Asia for decades and in the last 5 years more than a thousand racing prospects have been sold to Hong Kong, while strong trading ties to Singapore and Macau are now being complemented by the emerging mainland Chinese market.
Many of the greats of Hong Kong racing, such as Rapper Dragon, Able Friend, Sacred Kingdom and Silent Witness, are all Australian-bred, with this list of champions being added to by the likes of Beat The Clock and current Derby winner Golden Sixty.
In Singapore our horses won all seven Group One contests in 2020, building on a success rate that has seen Australian-breds win the majority of the top level races in the past decade with the likes of Inferno, Top Knight and Aramaayo.
This success ensures a strong market for tried horses, with owners rarely selling to Hong Kong for less than A$250,000 and with many horses priced at over A$1 million each year.
As with any investment, research is critical. Decide on the nature of your investment, what your budget is and the type of ownership that will suit your expectations. In Australia there are no restrictions on overseas owners and the paperwork is simple for those wanting to get involved.
Group ownership is very popular, allowing you to spread risk across a number of horses, as well as sharing the excitement.
Surrounding yourself with industry experts is an important role. Tap into decades of experience through the Federation of Bloodstock Agents who can provide personalised advice and purchase on your behalf, or through trainers who often buy ‘on spec’ and will have shares available for potential clients. Syndicators offer another avenue, as they identify yearlings in the sale ring and then manage the partnership for their large groups of owners.
The Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia is an established alliance of accredited members who are available to assist in all bloodstock matters. Visit bloodstockagents.com.au.
Australia’s leading trainers have a strong focus on ownership and will purchase yearlings at the major sales on behalf of existing owners and those new to racing.
Our trainers have a reputation for excellent communication, with owners informed through regular video, audio and written updates. Trainers will also put ownership groups together for horses they buy ‘on spec’.
Each year the best bloodlines available in Australia are offered across 16 major thoroughbred sales organised and run by Inglis and Magic Millions.
All are welcome to get involved, and between the different arms that make up the Australian thoroughbred industry, you'll have assistance wherever you turn. Should you require any further information or impartial advice, the team at Aushorse are happy to help.
More information is available by reaching out to the team at Aushorse.
P: +61 2 9663 8581
M: +61 (0) 423 146 334
M: +61 (0) 425 056 960
M: +61 (0) 411 696 036